By Jackie Cahill at Semple Stadium, Thurles
Tipperary 2-11 Clare 1-8
Conor Sweeney and Philip Austin scored goals in either half as Tipperary kept their slim promotion hopes alive this afternoon.
The Premier County drew level on four points with Clare in Division 3 of the Allianz Football League with a six-point victory at Semple Stadium.
And on a weekend when pace-setters Armagh and Fermanagh are set to meet, these could be two valuable points for Tipp.
Clare, despite dominating the kickout stats, struggled on a day when the visitors registered ten wides to Tipp’s 12.
And David Tubridy saw his stoppage penalty saved by Evan Comerford, before the Clare forward slammed the rebound over the crossbar on the volley from point-blank range.
Tipp were four points clear at half-time, 1-5 to 0-4, as Conor Sweeney accounted for 1-2 of the home side’s tally in the first half.
But Clare, who played against the breeze from the start, were still just about in touch, despite going 24 minutes without a score.
Clare’s best player, Shane McGrath, popped over their opening point in the eighth minute, as the teams exchanged early scores, but they didn’t trouble the scoreboard operator again until Tubridy converted a free three minutes before half-time.
Tubridy added another free and McGrath struck again before the break to leave the Banner County in contention at the midway point.
But Clare were eight points down, 0-5 to 1-10, when sub Shane Brennan netted in the 60th minute.
And Tipp reasserted complete control when Philip Austin bagged their second goal two minutes from time, finishing off Brian Mulvihill’s excellent approach work.
Scorers for Tipperary: P Austin & C Sweeney (0-2f), 1-2 each, S O’Brien & B Grogan (1 45) 0-2 each, S Kennedy, M Quinlivan & I Fahey 0-1 each.
Scorers for Clare: D Tubridy (0-3f) & S McGrath 0-4 each, S Brennan 1-0.
TIPPERARY: E Comerford; R Kiely, P Codd, A Campbell; G Hannigan, P Acheson, S Kennedy; C O’Riordan, S O’Brien; I Fahey, P Austin, L Casey; C Sweeney, M Quinlivan, B Grogan.
Subs: S Flynn for Quinlivan (inj, 22), B Mulvihill for Flynn (50), G Mulhair for Grogan (60).
CLARE: J Hayes; D Ryan, K Hartnett, G Kelly; C Russell, M McMahon, J Malone; G Brennan, C O’Connor; S Collins, S Hickey, S McGrath; D Tubridy, P Collins, P Burke.
Subs: S Brennan for S Collins (46), S Haugh for Malone (50), M O’Leary for Burke (62), C Dunning for Hickey (66),
Referee: G McCormack (Dublin).